Do you struggle to stick to your New Year resolutions? Do you tend to start off the year with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm about what you want to achieve in the coming year and then find your motivation waning by February? If this sounds familiar to you, your willpower may not be the problem. The New Year resolutions that you have set for yourself may not be realistic which means that you’re picking ones that are likely to end in disappointment in the long run.
Before we discuss New Year resolutions any further let’s look at the difference between resolutions and goals as while they are often used interchangeably, the fact is that these terms have some key and subtle differences.
What are goals?
A goal is your target. It’s the desired outcome that you hope to attain. Goals have a definite and precise endpoint. You can place a timeframe on them. There are both short-term and long-term goals you set for yourself.
What are resolutions?
Let’s look at personal resolutions that have to do with the trajectory you’d like to take with your life. A resolution is a promise to yourself and making a resolution usually entails altering some aspect of your life, such as eating healthier, focusing on loved ones more or managing your finances better.
Your resolutions are made up of goals. The resolution is the implied direction you wish to take with your life. The goals are the specific steps to take you to that place.
To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should follow the SMART model and should be:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
To further help you stick to your New Year Resolutions, I am sharing with you some tips to follow so that this year will be different to all the previous years of you making resolutions and not sticking to them.
1.Keep things simple
Do you often come up with a fairly long list of resolutions? This could be a big part of the reason why you struggle to see them through.
To increase your chance of success, don’t feel that you need to overhaul everything you feel is wrong with your life in one go. Chances are, you’ll quickly get overwhelmed and feel frustrated that you’re not getting anywhere.
You’re more likely to succeed with New Year resolutions if you concentrate your efforts on just one or two areas and do them well. Pick one main area, such as losing weight or quitting drinking and focus your energy and efforts solely on this.
2. Set yourself bite-size goals
Within your one or two big resolutions, working towards a big end goal can be daunting. When you first set a resolution, it can feel like you’re a million miles away from getting there. The end result? You’re more likely to give up altogether.
One way around this involves breaking down resolutions into mini goals that help you to see your progress more easily.
If you’re planning to lose weight, set a target for how much weight you’ll aim to lose each week. Or if you’re aiming to increase your intake of leafy green vegetables, aim for at least one serving every day.
Once you’ve broken your goals down into small chunks, make a point of checking in with yourself regularly to see how you’re doing with them. If you can see yourself making progress, there’s more chance that you’ll keep working towards achieving the bigger picture. As you make progress, you may need to tweak your mini goals to help you get there easier.
3. Reward your progress
The great thing about mini goals is the opportunity to give yourself an incentive to keep going whenever you make progress towards the bigger resolution. Just make sure it’s not something that will ruin your hard work to date. No sweet treats if you’re trying to be healthier or lose weight! Think of some fun things you can do to celebrate your progress like a massage or even a new dress to show off your weight loss.
4.Write them down
Writing down your New Year resolutions and keeping them somewhere visible can keep you motivated and remind you of why you’re on the journey in the first place. You’ll feel more accountable to yourself and will have more success in keeping your New Year resolutions.
You can take this even further by journaling about your resolutions. By diving deeper into how you’re doing with them, you can see how you may be self-sabotaging your goals … even without realising that you are.
5. Accept that slip-ups happen!
Resolutions are a challenge to stick to and most people will have setbacks. Let’s face it, it’s not realistic to think that it’s all going to be plain sailing when you’re making big changes to your lifestyle. If you encounter a setback on your journey, it’s not a sign that you’re failing or that you should give up on your goals. Just pick yourself up from where you left off and keep on going. I’m sure that you will still be further along the path than when you started.
By following these tips and by setting SMART goals means that you can clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively and increase your chances of sticking to your New Year resolutions.
Now go and set yourself some realistic New Year resolutions as you only have one month before the New Year begins.
Medical Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For medical advice always consult your physician. The information provided in this blog is based on the best knowledge of the author at the time of writing and we do not assume liability for the information within this blog, be it direct or indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages.